Simply put, an air compressor is a device that converts power into energy by forcing air into a small volume and thereby increasing pressure. This energy in the compressed air can then be stored as the air stays pressurized. Most air compressors are either powered by an electric motor, diesel or gasoline engine. They are available in a variety of different styles, from compressors that operate via either positive or negative displacement, to low-, medium- and high-pressure models. This article is intended to give you a well-rounded scope about air compressors, as well as explain how buying used can save you money and still allow you to attain a quality product.
The applications of air compressors are plentiful. Perhaps the most basic – and most synonymous task – associated with air compressors is that of filling vehicle tires, as these appliances likely exist in every automotive shop across the country. But that’s hardly the only application that these products are suitable for. Here’s a look at some more common uses for air compressors:
- Powering tools: Nail guns, jackhammers and other power tools are commonly powered by air compressors. This is beneficial because air compressors help add an additional element of safety to the task at hand, as there is little to no electricity involved on job sites.
- Filling gas cylinders.
- For powering HVAC pneumatic control systems.
- For creating pressurized air for large scale industrial processes.
Aside from these aforementioned applications, it’s also worth noting that air compressors are being increasingly used and explored for new applications in new industries and markets.
Positive vs. Negative Displacement
The two main types of air compression are positive and negative displacement. Here’s a look at the key differences between each type:
- Positive Displacement: These types of compressors work by forcing air into a chamber, with a decreased volume, to compress the air. There are three main sub-categories of positive displacement compressors. They are:
- Piston-type, which rely on the constant movement of pistons as a means of pumping air into the chamber. One-way valves guide air into this chamber, where the air is then compressed.
- Rotary screw compressors, which are devices where air compression is based on two helical screws and positive displacement. In rotary screw compressors, the helical screws turn and guide air into a chamber.
- Vane compressors, which is a type of compressor that delivers very high levels of air pressure at fixed volumes. These types of compressors work by using a slotted rotor and blade placement to guide air and reduce volume inside the chamber.
- Negative Displacement: The big difference between negative displacement air compressors and positive displacement air compressors is that those of the negative variety incorporate centrifugal compressors and thereby use centrifugal force to accelerate and decelerate the captured air.
Portable vs. Permanent Mount
Depending on the intended application or various applications, an individual or company may choose between either a portable or permanent mount air compressor. As the names imply, portable compressors are those that can be easily moved around while permanent mount compressors are installed in a sole location. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons between each of these two systems:
- Permanent Mount: These compressors are generally cheaper than their portable counterparts. They are also generally more effective and can provide users with varying levels of power depending on the application. Upgrading the systems are generally easier and permanent mount compressors come in many electrical powered options. Maintaining them is also typically easier than other types of compressors. The big downside to permanent mount air compressors is that they’re not portable and it’s a rather large undertaking if it ever needs to be moved around a facility’s floor.
- Portable: Unlike permanent mount compressors, the big advantage to portable compressors is their versatility, as they can easily be moved around warehouses, garages, etc. For this reason, portable air compressors are generally the most common types that you’ll find around auto shops, as they can be maneuvered from car to car to ensure each vehicle being serviced has the proper air pressure. The downside to portable compressors, however, is that they’re more expensive than permanent mount ones and they’re generally not as powerful.
Aside from permanent mount versus portable compressors, air compressors are also measured by the amount of air pressure that they deliver. Hence, there are low-pressure air compressors, or LPACs, which discharge pressure of 150 psi or less, medium-pressure compressors, which discharge pressure of 151 psi to 1,000 psi, and finally there are high-pressure air compressors, or HPACs, which discharge pressure over 1,000 psi.
Cost and Buying Options
A good air compressor, whether it be a portable unit or a permanent mount unit, can cost several hundred dollars. And while air compressors certainly aren’t the most expensive accessory that a homeowner can have in their garage or a company can have on its shop floor, the upfront cost does cut into a company’s bottom line and it is a significant purchase. That’s why it’s important to note that buying used is a viable option when it comes to these accessories. That’s where a service like Bid on Equipment comes into the picture, as it specializes in buying used industrial equipment and then selling it as previously owned merchandise to interested parties by the way of a bid. Simply put, purchasing an air compressor by these means will still allow you to secure a good product in an air compressor, but without the price tag of buying brand new. It’s something to consider when you’re looking to acquire a new piece of equipment, whether it’s an air compressor or some other piece of industrial equipment that you’re looking to acquire.
Contact Us Today
For more information on the benefits and types of air compressors that are on the market today, and to learn more about Bid on Equipment and the possibility of purchasing a used air compressor, either visit the company at www.bid-on-equipment.com or call them at 847-854-8577. Bid on Equipment accepts bids 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact them today for more information.